U.S. Targets Iranian Top Leader's Inner Circle With New Sanctions
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on nine people close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including his chief of staff, one of his sons and the head of the judiciary, Reuters reports.
Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Iran’s seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the U.S. Treasury Department said it also was blacklisting Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff.
“Today the Treasury Department is targeting the unelected officials who surround Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and implement his destabilizing policies,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called the sanctions “a sign of the desperation and inability of this regime in benefiting from a diplomatic and logical approach” to important international issues, according to the official IRNA news agency.
Tehran and Washington have been at odds since more than 50 Americans were held hostage at the embassy for 444 days. Tensions spiked last year after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and reinstated sanctions to choke oil exports and isolate the economy.
While tightening the sanctions noose, Trump has tried to leave open the door to diplomacy and signaled a willingness to meet with Iran’s top leaders.
Separately on Monday, the U.S. State Department announced a new reward of up to $20 million for information that leads to the location, recovery and return of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who was last seen in Iran.
“The Trump Administration has made clear that the regime in Iran must release all missing and wrongfully detained Americans,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “We will not rest until they are reunited with their families.”
The sanctions are designed to impose more limits on Khamenei’s inner circle, an administration official said.
“Our action is specifically focused on further targeting the financial assets of the supreme leader’s inner circle of both military and foreign affair advisors,” a senior administration official said in a call with reporters to discuss the sanctions.
U.S. sanctions block any U.S.-controlled property or interests held by those targeted, and prohibit anyone or any entities in the United States from dealing with those sanctioned.
Those targeted by the U.S. sanctions include Khamenei’s chief of staff Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani as well as Vahid Haghanian, who the department said “has been referred to as the Supreme Leader’s right hand.”
Ebrahim Raisi, who Khamenei appointed in March 2019 to lead Iran’s judiciary, and Mojtaba Khamenei, Khamenei’s second son, were also sanctioned, Treasury said.
Armenia Records 571 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
CNN: Trump Warns of 'Painful Two Weeks' as Officials Predict up to 240,000 US Coronavirus Deaths
Venezuelan Officials Reject US Initiative on Transitional Government
72.7% of Eligible Citizens of Artsakh Participate in National Elections
Trump, Erdogan Stress Importance of Adhering to Syrian and Libyan Ceasefires: TASS
US Looking at Other Activities that Can Contribute to Karabakh Resolution: US Ambassador
Minsk Group: the Co-Chairs Recognize the Role of the Population of Nagorno-Karabakh in Deciding Its Future
Armenia Security Council Secretary's Spokesperson Resigns
One More Coronavirus Patient Has Recovered in Armenia: Healthcare Minister
At 2pm 48.3% Of The Voters Casted Their Ballots In Artsakh Elections
Nikol Pashinyan, Alexander Lukashenko Discuss Interaction Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
Armenia: The Commission for Coordination of Activities to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus Holds Regular Meeting
US Extends Iran Nuclear Cooperation Sanctions Waivers
President Armen Sarkissian Discussed Via a Video Call the Situation Created by the New Coronavirus with the Ambassador of India to Armenia
Armenia Confirms 50 New Coronavirus Cases Bringing Total to 532
Nikol Pashinyan Sent Condolence Message By Over Passing Of Levon Aronian’s Spouse
Artsakh MFA: the Statement of the MFA of Turkey Another Example of Ankara’s Biased Position
Armenia Will Be Supplied With 100 Ventilators, 60,000 Coronavirus Test Kits
Stepantsminda-Larsi Highway Open Only For Trucks
President Sarkisisan Sent a Letter to the President of PRC Xi Jinping
Garo Paylan: Putin Made Erdogan Sit under the Statue of Catherine the Great who Symbolizes Russia's Victory over the Ottomans
This Is Our Armenian Pizza: Turks Have Lashed Out at Kim Kardashian for Describing Lahmacun as Armenian Pizza (VIDEO)
Armenian who Was Born on Ararat Street: Sergey Lavrov – the Unsurpassed Diplomat
Aliyev Angered by Armenian Toponyms on Azerbaijani Museum Maps, Orders New Ones (VIDEO)
French Armenians Alarm About Links Between Paris Mayor Candidate and Azerbaijani Authorities
March 15: Tehlirian’s Bullet Toppled Talaat to the Ground
Daughter of Emir of Kuwait Told about Her Armenian Grandmother, who Survived the Armenian Genocide
Kim Kardashian Visits White House with Prisoners She Helped Free
Joaquín Caparrós Appointes as Armenian National Team Head Coach
Armenian Coat of Arms Printed on Famous American Rapper's Jacket
Wind: 7 km/h